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How to Find a Pet Sitter You Will Love!

 

When you are traveling you want peace of mind and that means you need to find a pet sitter that will take amazing care of your pets. A professional pet sitter will be bonded and insured, an expert in animal care, have an emergency plans in place and screen and train their sitters. So how do you find a pet sitter that is going to meet all of your expectations?

Ask Friends

Ask around with friends and family and see who has used a Professional Pet Sitter. They will be able to provide first-hand knowledge of the experience and give you a referral. You can ask your wider friend base by posting on social media for referrals in your area.

Ask Veterinarians and Groomers

If you have a regular veterinarian, groomer, dog trainer, or any animal professional you are working with, ask them for a referral. Chances are they know the Professional Pet Sitters in town and can help you find a pet sitter that would be a good match specifically for your pets, since they already know them.

Search National Pet Sitting Groups

There are a few major pet sitting groups, the largest two being the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters and Pet Sitters International. Not all pet sitters belong to these groups, but they can be a good place to find a pet sitter if you are not sure where to start.

Find a Pet Sitter on Nextdoor

Nextdoor is still a relatively new program, but in it you can talk to neighbors in your direct area. It is being used for all sorts of information exchange, including referrals for pet sitters. When you are asking around, be sure to indicate you are looking for a Professional Pet Sitter, not a neighbor’s kid. The advantage of Nextdoor is that many pet sitters only work in specific areas so if you live in an area with few pet sitters then Nextdoor can help you find a pet sitter that is willing and able to come to your neighborhood, since they already did for your neighbor.

Cat how to find a pet sitter

Find a Pet Sitter on Google

It is nice to use a reference to find a pet sitter, but if you are struggling you can always go for the nice old-fashioned web search. When you do this you will find a lot of tech companies like Wag and Rover, so just scan past those to find a pet sitter that is local and a professional company.

Pick One!

Once you have gotten some referrals or found companies online, you have to pick a pet sitter. Not all pet sitters are created equal so make sure your sitter is bonded and insured, supervises and trains their sitters and has back up in case of an emergency. If you are in our area then learn more about our pet sitting services!

 

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Where is the Closest Vet Clinic? 

Earlier this week I was out the dog park with my dog Podrick, enjoying the nice weather.  There was only one other dog at the park, a puppy that would run squealing whenever Podrick got close.  We moved to the other end of the park to give him some space and played on our own.  After a few minutes, the owner of the puppy came over to ask me a question, “Where is the closest vet clinic?”


Why is this such a terrible question?

This question indicates two things about the people:

  1. The person and the pet have never been to the vet before.Vet Clinic
  2. Something traumatic has happened recently and the animal should be getting immediate care.

After chatting for a few more minutes I discovered, to my horror, that the puppy had jumped out of his moving vehicle on the way to the park.  Normally the pup was outgoing, friendly and fearless, quite the difference from the puppy I saw before me.  I did a quick exam and encouraged the man to immediately take the pup to the emergency clinic.  Unfortunately, I had left before he made his final decision but I hope he made the right one! If you ever need a recommendation make sure to give us a call!

Getting a Cat – Complete Checklist for New Cat Owners

 

Cats make wonderful companions and are great additions to any family. They are creatures of comfort, so if you’re a first-time cat owner, make sure to have all the essentials ready for them. Getting a new kitty is a big change for you and for your new friend. To help make this time easier for you, we’ve got the complete checklist of everything thing you need and need to know.

Download the Complete Preparing for a New Cat  Checklist

Important Considerations:

Lifestyle: While it’s true that cats don’t exactly need as much time as a new dog, but they still need love, attention and a stable family life. Ask yourself the following questions before jumping into adoption.

  • Do you or anyone in the house have allergies to cat hair, dander or dirt?
  • Do you have any other pets that may not take well to a new cat? If so, do you have a plan of introducing them to each other?
  • Who will be the primary caretaker?
  • Do you want a long hair or short hair breed? Long hair breeds will take more time for daily grooming and may have more hairballs.
  • Will work or social life affect your ability to properly care for them?
  • Does your residence allow pets and is your home suited for a new cat?
  • Would an older cat or younger cat better suit your lifestyle? Kittens take more time and have more energy, but older cats may need more veterinarian care.

Costs: You want to make sure that you can always care for your vet. The best way is to create a budget for a new cat before you bring them home.

  • Does your new pet need to be spayed or neutered?
  • Is there an adoption fee that needs to be paid?
  • Monthly expenses such as food, litter, pet sitting or new supplies
  • Licensing fees and rabies shots
  • Litter box and scoop
  • Routine veterinary care
  • Microchipping
  • Grooming Brush
  • Beds and toys

Shopping Checklist:

Once you’ve decided a new cat will fit well into your lifestyle and you can afford the cost of care, the next thing to do is hit the pet store to get them their supplies.

  • Age appropriate food
  • Water and food bowls
  • Collar
  • Leash
  • ID tags (make sure your phone number is on it)
  • Hard plastic cat carrier
  • Litter Box
  • Litter Scoop
  • Brush
  • Sponge and scrub brush for accidents and hairball clean up
  • Non-toxic cleaner
  • Toys (feathers on wands, catnip mouse, etc)
  • Blanket or bed
  • Cat toothbrush and toothpaste

There’s no doubt that cats add spunk and tons of joy to any home. They may seem aloof, but in reality, they are just as caring as they are smart. A peaceful home full of warmth and love is a perfect place for a new feline friend.

Download the Complete Preparing for a New Cat  Checklist

8 Tips for Preparing Your Home for a Pet Sitter

Your vacation is planned, your pet sitting appointment is booked, you are all packed, now what?  There are few steps you can take to make life much easier for your pet sitter by preparing your home for a pet sitter.

Wet Noses’ Top 8 Tips for Preparing Your Home for a Pet Sitter

1)   Secure your home.

Make sure all of your doors, windows, and gates are locked.

2)  Put all of your pet supplies in a central location.

We don’t mind going into a cabinet or two but try not to send your sitter digging through 3 rooms two find the supplies they need.

3)  Make sure all medication is in a cabinet out of animal reach.

Your pup may be great normally but when he is left alone for a couple days in a row he might go exploring.

4)  Verify that all of your information for your pet sitter is correct.

At Wet Noses Pet Sitting we use an online system that should be updated regularly, but whatever system your sitter uses should be updated.  This should include all of your pet’s care details, house information, plant watering, emergency contacts, garage code and the alarm code.

pet sitter

 

5) Update your information

Make sure your sitter has updated information to contact you in case of an emergency.  If you will not be reachable via your regular phone leave the information for your travel plans, hotel numbers, travel agent, etc.

6) Think about where you want your pet to have access

Close off any rooms you do not want your pets to have access to while you are gone.  Also, change lights and blinds in those rooms to the way you want them to stay.  If you want them changed to be sure to leave that information for your sitter.

7)  Get extra supplies!

Inevitably if you only leave enough food for your trip then you will be delayed by weather.  Supply your home as if will be gone a few days longer than you are planning. In case you’re delayed you’re pet will plenty of supplies.

8) Leave your pet sitter any important notes

If there are any favorite hiding spots for your cat, underlying illnesses for your dog, toilets that leak or doors that stick, let your sitter know!  Think of the unusual parts of your home and your pets and assume your sitter will run into the same problem.

Now that you’ve finished preparing your home for a pet sitter, you can relax and enjoy your trip!  Nothing makes a pet sitter happier than to know you had a great time away while they enjoyed spending time with your fur kids.


How to Safely Take Your Dog to Work

 

Did you know that June 26th is Pet Sitters International’s 17th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day? It’s a special day of the year where businesses around the world will let you bring your dog to work. You get to bring your special furry friend to work to celebrate the wonderful relationship humans have with dogs and to promote pet adoption.

After all, dogs do make some of the best companions and bringing them with you on a regular day on the job is tons of fun. However, there are a few things to check on to make sure the day is still productive, as well as peaceful.

Go over this checklist before packing up your dog for a day at the office.

1. Check with your office:  Some offices don’t allow dogs no matter what the day is, so check with your boss beforehand.

2. Make sure your dog is fit for socializing: Make sure your dog’s shots are current and that they are feeling well. Even friendly dog’s can be aggressive if they’re sick.

3. Puppy-proof your work area: Remove poisonous plants, toxic chemical and hide electrical cords. Also, put away any office items that could get chewed up or swallowed.

4. Plan breaks and lunch according to your work schedule: Make sure to plan potty break and feeding in between any pressing matters such as phone conferences or meetings.

5. Pack them a lunch and goodie bag: Don’t forget to bring a doggie bag for Fido! Pack up food, treats, bowls, toys, leash and clean up items.

6. Don’t force interactions: Even if your dog is extremely friendly, don’t force him to interact with co-worker’s. Some people aren’t dog people (strange, but true!) and also the office can be an intimidating space for your dog.

7. Have a backup plan: Hope for the best and plan for the worst. Make sure you’d be able to leave to take them home if they start to get overly active or upset.

 

Take Your Dog to Work Day is a fun time to let your dog in on what goes on when you leave for the day. Instead of being like Max on Secret Life of Pets, waiting and wondering all day while his owner is gone, they’ll know where you go!

 

If you prefer to listen, we also recorded a Podcast on the subject!

Is There a Charge to Meet My Pet Sitter?

 

When you are getting started with a new professional pet sitting company, you want to be sure you are comfortable with the person who will be working in your home. We want you to be comfortable as well! When first getting started with Wet Noses Pet Sitting, we will answer all of your questions via phone and email. We work our hardest to make sure you understand the process of working with us, that we have an understanding of the care needed for your pets and that we have scheduled visits that are going to make your pets happy while you are gone.

Setting up your meeting

After we have set up your first appointment, we will pair you with a sitter whose schedule and experience matches your household. About a week before your first visit, your sitter will contact you to set up a meeting time. We intentionally have sitters meet with you just before you leave so that all of the details are fresh in their minds. In addition, there is a higher likelihood that your pets will remember your sitter if they have met recently. This helps to make your pets more comfortable with a new person coming into their home for the first time.

Charges

We believe this introductory meeting is necessary and there is no charge for the meeting! In the occasion that you need more than one meeting then we will charge for any additional meetings. This can happen if you have a dog that is particularly shy or uncomfortable with strangers.

Shy dogs

Unlike some professional pet sitting companies, we do accept dogs that sometimes need a little more care, and thus a few more meetings. How many meetings will depend upon you and your dog and we can discuss this before setting up your first meeting with your sitter.

Future sitters

We attempt to keep you with your same sitter whenever possible, but if you are with us long enough then you will eventually have a new sitter. Anytime we change sitters we will offer up a new meeting at no charge. On some occasions clients chose to forego these meetings, but that is up to you.

 

We feel it is vitally important for you to feel comfortable with your sitter and do not feel that your should pay for this meeting. We hope you will join our family soon!

Why is it Important For My Pet Sitter to be an Employee?

 

As a professional pet sitter it is important for us to understand the legal risks for both ourselves, our employees and our clients.  Especially since animals are unpredictable, we want to make sure everyone is protected in the case of an unfortunate accident.

We avoid problems whenever possible but after doing our research it was decided that having employees is the only responsible way for Wet Noses Pet Sitting to run as a business and here is why:

  1.  Employees are covered by Workman’s Compensation Insurance
    This insurance protects you, the client, in the case of the sitter being injured.  If a sitter were to slip on ice in your front yard you could be sued for medical costs if the sitter is not covered by workman’s comp insurance.  Pet sitter insurance only covers damage to your home and animals in the case of an accident.
  2. Employees can undergo training
    One of the qualities we are most proud of here at Wet Noses Pet Sitting is the training your sitter undergoes, both when they join the team and continuing education.  Our sitters not only learn CPR and first aid but also learn about proper animal handling techniques, what constitutes a pet emergency, positive reinforcement training techniques and more!  We offer continuing training for unique situations and ongoing tips and tricks for being an awesome pet sitter.  When companies hire independent contractors they are not able to train them so they only have the knowledge they come with when hired.
  3. Employees are consistent
    Since contractors cannot be trained that also means that they are pretty much on their own when they go to do a job.  Think of a person that does tile work.  One might be wonderful and another terrible, because they are not trained to provide consistent quality of service based on the expectations of a company.  Pet sitters that are contractors legally can only be hired for a job and it is up to them how the job gets done.

For these reasons we at Wet Noses Pet Sitting are very excited to work with our amazing employees to make sure we provide the best pet sitting and dog walking service possible!

Do You Charge Extra for Multiple Pets?

 

Colorado is a very pet-friendly area and many households have multiple pets. This can mean when looking for pet care it can be a bit harder. If you are boarding dogs, there is an increased price for the more you have. The same for cats. Not to mention the stress of needing to transport them to a facility, or to different places if you have different types of animals. For those of you who have large pet households, pet sitters may be your only real option when going out of town.

So how much extra will it be for multiple pets?

In general our rates include two pets, but we evaluate each household individually. A household with three dogs that need to be walked separately is very different from a house with one dog and two mice. We find out the number of pets you have as well as their routine and levels of care, and provide you a rate based on your entire household. When we do charge extra, it is generally $2 per pet.

What animals cost more?

We do charge a bit extra for exotic animals that require specific experience, such as horses and parrots. Learn more about what exotic pets we watch. This is because we need to have sitters on staff with a more broad experience level than an average sitter.

Should I Tip My Pet Sitter?

 

Should I tip my pet sitter? In the US we are taught to tip the waiter, taxi driver, valets and even the mailman at the holidays. But everyone wonders, “Should I tip my pet sitter?”

It is up to you!

Tipping your pet sitter is greatly appreciated, but it is not expected or required. Many of our clients do choose to tip their sitters, but this choice is made on an individual basis. Unlike waiters, our sitters are paid a reasonable wage without tips being included.

When to tip your sitter

Over the years we have seen many methods of tipping from our clients. Here are some ideas:

  • Tip at the end of visits.
  • Tip at the beginning of visits.
  • Tip only at the holidays.
  • Tip on occasions that you feel it is deserved!

Most clients choose not to tip before the first visits, instead waiting to see how it goes the first time. This is also true when they get a new sitter.

How to tip your sitter

Should you decide to tip your pet sitter, there are a few ways to go about it.

  • We can add a tip onto your credit card, before or after your visits.
  • Leave a tip for your sitter at the first visit.
  • Mail a tip (via check) to us after your trip and we will get it to your sitter.

How much to tip your sitter

Again, this is completely up to you. How often you tip will also effect the amount you choose to tip. Remember that any amount is appreciated! For our clients that tip regularly, we most often see a 10-20% tip for the sitter.

However much you choose to tip, that amount will go directly to your sitter. Our sitters never expect to be tipped, but it is nice when it happens!

What Do Pet Sitters Do in a Blizzard?

 

Winter storms have been dominating the news. In fact, every state expect for Florida has snow on the ground.  And there is still a lot of time left this winter, which means we could easily see more storms. So, what exactly does your pet sitter do if a blizzard hits?

Of course, if school and businesses are closed and the news is telling people to stay home, then chances are that you are home to take care of your pet.  But what if you’re on vacation?   Pet sitters are like the mailmen of animal care, with a creed not unlike, “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.[1]

What You Can Do to Prepare for a Blizzard:

    1. Hire a neighbor to shovel your driveway and sidewalks to make it easy to get in and out of your home. If you prefer to spread ice melt, make sure to get the non-toxic pet friendly version.
    2. Have extra leashes/harnesses, or carriers available. If you get snowed in, your pet sitter may need to come get your weather the storm with them. This could be necessary if the power goes out or if the storm will have people snowed in for days.
    3. If you are going to be home, make sure to call and cancel so they don’t need to worry about going over to your home in the storm.
    4. Make sure to have plenty of food, water, litter and other supplies. Have an emergency plan in place just in case everyone gets snowed in and they can’t make it on the scheduled day.
    5. No matter the weather your pet sitter will try their hardest to be there for your pets. However, we do want everyone to be safe.  If you’re worried about your pets in inclement weather, make sure to contact us. We will help set up a plan and your pet care.  And most of all, stay safe and warm this winter!

 

What We Do to Prepare for a Blizzard (as Pet Sitters):

  1. Check weather reports, especially for areas outside of town.
  2. Discuss emergency scenarios with the team. Sitters with 4-wheel drive vehicles and vehicles with higher clearance are on call.
  3. Management plans to provide assistance. Even if the sitter can get out to visits, often the road make driving slow, so occasionally a manager takes a visit to help the sitter get them all done in time.
  4. Occasionally there is a discussion of having a pet stay with a sitter in their home. Typically this is with friendly dogs who would deal well with the stress, and is only done when necessary.
  5. Stock our vehicles with emergency gear.
  6. Contact the client to let them know of the situation and keep them updated throughout.
  7. If it is possible we will not make it to a home, in advance we contact neighbors and emergency contacts and arrange emergency coverage, if needed. We provide them with all of the information needed to watch the home.
  8. Leave out extra food and water, just in case.
  9. Stay in touch with emergency backups to assess the area and keep them apprised if we need help with visits.

We have only had one situation where we could not make it to a home due to weather, and it was actually due to flooding! We had arranged for a neighbor to help and everything turned out great. Having a professional pet sitter means you never have to worry!